Summer always brings a wave of nostalgia with the heat. And not always the good kind.
For many years, summer was the sign of seven weeks off school.
It meant swimming everyday and riding to the library for an hour in the cool air. I would trawl up and down the stacks, getting lost in titles I was too young to read and could never fully grasp the plots of. I would hire out the maximum amount of books – always – and test myself to see how many I could read in two weeks.
Summer was playing in the rain until the seconds between the thunder and lightning became too close.
It was wet sneakers and plastic bags covering our school books and silent prayers for a power outage so we could go home early.
It was preparing for cyclones that never came and slip n slides in the front yard.
It was water balloon fights and running through the sprinkler in an attempt to cool off.
It was hiding in the office lapping up the aircon and the peace and quiet.
It was reading all the books and dreaming up stories and pretending I was spending Christmas in a far away city in the snow.
It was watching Skins and teaching ourselves to skate in the dead of the night, and driving home from work only to get changed and leave again.
It was long conversations in pools and sugar-fuelled movie nights and lingering thoughts.
It was deserted streets as New Year’s rolled around and everyone was out of town.
It was fishing in the evenings and waiting patiently for a gust of cool ocean breeze.
It was never wearing white and always having dried mud on the backs of our calves.
It was glasses steaming up as I went in and out of shops.
It was melting ice blocks and endless refills of the ice trays in the freezer.
Having a roast dinner meant the whole kitchen would become an aromatic sauna.
Hot chips were essential, but would sweat in the paper wrapping byyy the time we got them home.
We risked our lives for a swim at The Lakes or a chance to dip our toes in the ocean.
The rain would flood us in and the town would become our playground.
Swimming holes would close because of currents.
Streets would become lakes.
Pools would overflow and spill every time we dove in.
Summer would feel like forever, and despite the suffocating heat, we wouldn’t want it to end.
Now – it’s my least favourite season.
Maybe it’s because I don’t have access to the things I did as a child or maybe it’s simply because they don’t interest me anymore.
Maybe I’ve become lazy, with my unlimited internet and Netflix and air conditioned house.
Maybe it’s because I finally live near a swimable ocean, but it’s overrun by stingers when I need it most.
Maybe I’ve simply lost my imagination.
Maybe it’s because I don’t get seven weeks of holidays anymore.
Maybe it’s just too fucking hot.